My mother expressed real life lessons to me at a young age. My mom’s wise and she’s strong. I get a lot of my wisdom from her. I think I was twelve years old when I started saying ‘everything happens for a reason’ when something shitty happened. “We can’t fix other people Kiley,” my mom always told me.
However, I never truly understood what she meant until I was in my 20’s.
You know the people in your life you have soft spots for? The friend that has screwed you over time and time again? The family member that only brings negative energy in your life because they’re unhappy within themselves? The boyfriend who takes out his insecurities on you? But, for whatever reason, you always find yourself sticking up for them? I think why we stick up for these kinds of people in our life is because we see beyond their broken hearts and beyond their toxic traits.
We see past their trauma and instead, we see someone who lacks self-love but would do anything for the ones they love. We see past the negativity and we see someone who’s compassionate and hurts when you hurt. We often see people for their potential rather than for who they truly are. I had a best friend like that. She would say one thing and do another, she would ask if I was okay but then she would disappear for months until she finally disappeared altogether.
“We’re literally soulmates and we were destined to meet and become friends.” I truly meant it when I said that to her years ago and although, time has passed and a lot of questions still linger, I can honestly say that I do still mean it.
We often think of soulmates as the loves of our lives, but to me, a soulmate can also be anyone you instantly connect with, someone who brings you a tremendous amount of joy, someone who just gets it, someone who just gets you. A soulmate is hard to find, but when you do find your ‘soulmate’ it’s human nature to try everything in your power to keep that person in your life, as your soulmate.
I actually think it’s why we often stand by broken people in their time of need. It’s why toxic relationships last for so long. I believe that seeing the beauty in broken people and broken relationships is a remarkable thing, but sometimes it’s also a disabling thing. Time and time again, I kept finding myself saying “she’s just hurting, she’s not an evil person, she’s a good person.” I kept saying that until I could no longer find excuses for her hurtful and careless actions.
Her and I were different but we were also similar. We laughed for hours and had deep conversations when we needed to. We had the same humor; we laughed at the most absurd things that no one else laughed at, we loved making other people laugh, we were always the drunkest girls at the party, but we never really cared what other people thought because we were happy.
We loved pranks. I remember when our fire alarm went off and we told our friend that we got caught smoking inside and got kicked out of our apartment forever. Nine times out of ten people believed everything we said, which made it even funnier.
We were very different when it came to expressing our emotions and feelings. Her trauma and demons were stored intensely inside of her and she never really talked about her pain. My trauma and demons, however, were always spoken out loud because that was the way I dealt with my pain. I always knew she was in pain and as we got older, I tried my hardest to help lessen her pain, but there was only so much I could do.
We often think our love and belief in someone can heal their scars, but, it can’t. I also don’t think she was ready to be healed.
Our friendship slowly started to only revolve around her. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy giving advice and I enjoy being someone’s shoulder to cry on but it’s very important to have that reciprocated in a relationship.
First, it started with her bailing on small plans, which led her to bail on plans that meant a lot to me, until one day, it became a one-way friendship. Her short text messages turned into no responses, she wasn’t answering my calls and I struggled to see the beauty in our friendship. It’s confusing when you’re trying to decide whether to walk away from a friendship or not, because for months they will be MIA but the next month they’ll be the first one there when shit hits the fan.
There were a lot of red flags. I believe there are always red flags when you’re trying to save a relationship that’s starting to become exhausting. For two straight years I was finding excuses for the mediocre friendship she was giving me. I remember the looks and judgment from my friends and family when I stood up for her. I remember telling my mom “she’s forgetful but she means so well.” “She doesn’t like confrontation so she’s not answering my calls.”
It wasn’t until I took my space, to let her back in, only to find myself more exhausted from our toxic friendship; that was when it finally hit me. There wasn’t a huge build up, there wasn’t a dramatic fight, I just finally realized that it was time to move on from a friendship that no longer brought me any joy. It was time to move on from a person that I didn’t have the power to change.
Friendships are supposed to be easy. Ours never really was. Months of reflecting allowed me to realize that there was actually more bad than good. I would knock on the door of her heart time and time again and every time the door never opened. I was always willing to open the door to my heart but I never received anything in return. I would be there for her in an instant when she called but she couldn’t even pick up the phone and call me on my birthday.
I knew how kind and beautiful her heart was but I was starting to understand that she picked and choose when she wanted to show me the beautiful parts about herself. It seemed that her toxic parts liked to show themselves more.
It felt like I was breaking up with a boyfriend.
This day will be engrained in my heart and soul forever. I was sitting at my desk in my bedroom, the desk that was only supposed to consist of positive writing. My pen went to paper and it didn’t stop until I realized I had written a 16-page letter. A 16-page goodbye letter to my best friend. A goodbye letter filled with honesty, sadness, anger, disappointment but also love and hope.
I said goodbye to the person who I thought was my person, my soulmate. How did we get here? I could no longer hang on to her reassuring words and I could only accept the reality of the situation; she will never show up for me like I would show up for her.
That day was the day my best friend would never turn into my forever friend. It was the day that I realized we can’t force someone to give us the relationship we deserve. It was the day I realized that we can’t be in a healthy relationship with someone who doesn’t love their-self. It was that day that I realized my love will never go away and I will always have a special place in my heart for her. However, you have to learn how to sometimes love someone from a far. You have to learn how to care for someone in your prayers. You have to wish them well in your journal or however you express your feelings. We were best friends but not forever friends.
It’s been years. I probably won’t ever talk to her again. But, I want her to know that I forgive her. I forgive her and I pray that she has found the beauty within herself that she struggled to find. I pray that she has found the beauty that I always saw.
It’s fair to say that breaking up with a friend is just as heart breaking as breaking up with someone you’re in love with. Often times when we hold on to relationships, it’s not because we’re weak but because we have faith and hope that the person we love will become the person we need them to be. We have faith that their selfishness and incapability to love is only a phase and all they need is support and love from us.
The day the bad overweighs the good and the day we question our self-worth trying to fix and change a relationship, is the day we have lost ourselves. It’s the day that we need to look within ourselves and ask, “Have I done everything in my power to support and love this person?” If the answer is yes, take a deep breath, let it all out and walk away from the relationship. They didn’t feel bad treating you the way they did so you shouldn’t feel bad doing what’s best for your soul.
‘thegoodquote’ said it best:
“It’s been a while since I finally accepted the end. But my heart still aches every time I think of he we ended. And if I could go back, I wish I could tell you: I stayed for so long, not because I was weak but because I believed in the good person in you. I left, not because you stopped wanting me but because I no longer loved myself by loving you.”
Image courtesy of Roberto Nickson.